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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

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PAKGANA KOSI.                                                     363
of the municipality, a loan of Rs. 12,000 was contracted, with the sanction of
Government, to be repaid in the course of four years by half-yearly instalments,
beginning from October, 1874=. Before application was made for the loan,
Rs. 6,000 had been already expended, and with a further allotment, to about
the same extent, from ordinary municipal income, the market might have been
completed by the end of 1878. But unexpected changes in the schedule of
taxation reduced the octroi receipts so considerably that the annual income
was nearly all exhausted by the charges for establishment, repairs, and the
repayment of the loan. Thus the work dragged slowly on ; and since I have
left the district has come, I believe, to a dead stand-still. At its commence-
ment an illustration was afforded of the extraordinary mania with which the
local baniyas are possessed for hoarding large quantities of grain. This they
do in the hope that a year of famine will come when they will be able to
realise a rapid fortune by selling their stores at enormously high rates. As
the grain is simply thrown into a pit sunk in the ground, and no precautions
taken to preserve it from-the damp, in a few years the greater part of it be-
comes quite unfit for human consumption, and its sale would only increase the
general distress by spreading disease. This, however, is a consideration which
has no influence on the mind of a baniya : he has a fixed method of squaring
accounts with Providence, and holds that the foundation of a sumptuous temple,
at the close of his life, is an ample atonement for all sins of fraud and peculation,
and the only one which Divine justice Is entitled to demand from, him. Such
a pit came to light after the heavy raics of 18 78. Five of the shops then in
course of construction began to settle and give way to such an extent that they
had to be taken down. On digging a few feet below the foundations to ascer-
tain, if possible, the- cause of the accident, a subterranean granary was revealed
•with an invoice stating that it had been filled in Sambat 1898 (1841 A.D.), and
contained in all 1,303 mans of different kinds of grain. The greater part of
this was so much damaged that it had to be destroyed, and the sale of the
remainder realised only Us. 324, which did not cover the cost incurred in dig-
ging it out, filling up the pit, and rebuilding the shops.
The tahsili school was built by the Public Works Department at a cost of
Rs. 6,000. The police, maintained by the municipality on an annual grant
of Bs. 1,800, are located In a corner of the sarae, with an entrance made
through the old wall directly on to the high road, opposite the parao. "The
latter is the property of private individuals, who levy a toll on every anginal or
vehicle driven into its enclosure, —the rates being fixed by the municipality—
and pay Es. 10 a month for the monopoly.